Voting Rights

Filed - May 18, 2020

Swenson et al. v. Wisconsin Elections Commission

Attorney: 

 

 

The Wisconsin Elections Commission’s failure to properly manage the April 7 election, held amid the expanding coronavirus pandemic, violated federal law and the U.S. Constitution, which protects every eligible voter’s right to vote.

A coalition of Wisconsin voters and organizations that work to mobilize Wisconsin voters sued state election officials for violating federal laws that protect the right to vote. The suit asks the court to remedy Wisconsin’s failure to implement measures to ensure that all Wisconsin voters will be able to freely and safely participate in the upcoming August and November elections.

 

Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
This lawsuit aims to make sure that the coming elections are safe and accessible for all Wisconsin citizens, no matter who they are, where they live, or what health conditions they have.

On behalf of three registered Wisconsin voters as well as Disability Rights Wisconsin, and Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC), we ask the court to remedy Wisconsin’s failure to implement measures to ensure that all Wisconsin voters will be able to freely and safely participate in the upcoming August and November elections.

About Our Clients

Melody McCurtis voted in person in Milwaukee.

To cast her ballot, she was forced to wait in line for more than two-and-a-half hours, surrounded by other people who were not maintaining social distance–thereby risking her health and the health of immunocompromised family members.

“Our democracy doesn’t work if voters are too intimidated by unsafe polling places to vote. I deserve to have my voice heard.”

 

Jill Swenson and Maria Nelson are voters for whom in-person voting was not an option as a result of their health status.

Both were prevented from casting absentee ballots through no fault of their own. Ms. Swenson, who lives alone, suffers from a chronic lung disease; she was disenfranchised when her ballot was rejected because she could not get it witnessed as a result of social distancing.

“I followed the rules and yet I was still not able to vote. It felt like one more thing that cancer took away from me.”

Case Developments

  • Petition Filed to Ask Supreme Court to Uphold Victory — 

    We filed a petition in the U.S. Supreme Court asking the Court to allow the victory we won in Wisconsin to stand.

    October 13, 2020
  • 7th Circuit Upholds Victory — 

    In an unanimous decision, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds our victory on voting rights in Wisconsin.

    September 29, 2020
  • WIN: Absentee Ballot Deadline Extended — 

    The judge has extended the ballot-receipt deadline so that any ballot postmarked by election day will be counted—as opposed to the ordinary rule, which discards all ballots received after election day.

    September 21, 2020
  • Lawsuit Filed to Protect Voting Rights of Wisconsinites — 

    On behalf of a coalition of Wisconsin voters and organizations, we filed a lawsuit asking the court to remedy Wisconsin’s failure to implement measures to ensure that all Wisconsin voters will be able to freely and safely participate in the upcoming August and November elections.

    May 18, 2020